23 Quality Criteria for
Evaluating Educational Sites
By Mark Treadwell
To judge a sites credibility
there are a number of factors that contribute to its usefulness within the
teaching environment. Now that we are teaching our students to discriminate
between good sites and sites that are not to be trusted we need to provide
them with criteria to base their discrimination on. Here is a list of some
criteria that you can introduce to them to:
- The site is authorized and has
credibility. A credible site will have an organization or educational
basis behind its content. This will often appear in the form of a link to that
organization or a biographical page.
- Citing of information. Where
statistics are quoted all information is cited with reference to the original
location of the information and how to find it.
- Interactivity. The site allows for a
response either via forms or via E mail. The site responds to requests and
acknowledges your sending of information.
- The site has an emphasis on information
not on flashy applets that have no use or obvious application.
- The site is updated regularly. Check
the site for the last update date.
- There are links to additional
information. One site rarely ever can do justice to a particular topic.
Good sites always refer their viewer to additional sites that can provide
- The site can be navigated easily. It
should be obvious what to click on and how to return to where you started.
Indexes on the left hand side of the page are a good tool.
- The site is searchable if it is large
and there is an index to the content of the site. Searches of directories
needs to be theme based and not Boolean based as you may use for a search
- The objective of the site is obvious
and stated in the introduction to the site. This should then be revealed via
the content that is presented. Often the objective is not realised via the
- There is a correlation with curriculum.
The material should be related to curriculum objectives and relate to your
countries educational objectives.
- There is no racial/religious/gender
imbalance or offensive language contained within the site. Before
recommending a site you must take into account the ethics and morals that you
wish to establish within your educational community.
- The level of language on the site is
appropriate and the font size suits the needs of the intended readers.
This also applies to the interplay between text and graphical/video/audio
- Simplicity in layout is one of the
best guides for quality of content.
- The tasks set allow for the various
learning styles of individuals. Each site will have its focus but a
balance of styles is the overall aim.
- There is a variety in the types of
activities that are suggested or provided including independent,
teachers/peer dependent and co/team dependent activities as well as a variety
of kinaesthetic approaches.
- Sites encourage students to be creative,
use their imagination and make use of problem solving strategies to develop an
understanding of the material being provided.
- Project based sites provide a project
management process for both teachers and students to follow including
developmental objectives, time lines/frames and development strategies.
- There is backup information where ethical
and moral statements are made and there is opportunity for students to
investigate alternative points of view via referenced links or additional
- The questioning strategy includes higher
order thinking skills including synthesis and evaluation of information,
application and analysis of data, presented points of view or information.
- The opportunity should exist to share
what the student has learned with their peers via electronic lists or news
- The site provides a process such that the
information can be processed into knowledge. This may be done through
sound questioning techniques, use of visual and audio support and
- The site clearly states what level of
ability the site is aimed at and what areas will be covered.
- If a plug in application a link is
provided to obtain it.